It has been ten years since the first NFFF Firefighter Life Safety Summit was held in Tampa in April of 2004. The output of that meeting, the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, has had a profound influence on every aspect of firefighting in the United States. Over the last decade, we have seen a decrease in the number of line-of-duty deaths that occur each year because of the positive steps taken by firefighters, fire officers and fire service organizations. While all of this is extremely encouraging and worthy of praise, we should not rest on our laurels-there’s still more to do.
That’s why we’re convening TAMPA2 – Building for the Future, March 10 – 12 Our purpose is to reaffirm our commitment to the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, to identify future directions of LODD prevention efforts and to help nurture the development of a new generation of fire service leaders. We have invited a remarkable array of speakers to address our delegates-fire service leaders from across the United States who have been committed to the LODD reduction promise as identified in Tampa in 2004.
The truly heavy-lifting of this event, however, will occur in the breakout sessions where approximately 350 delegates will work to set important goals for the next ten years. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has invited all the major fire service organizations to send delegates. Others are joining us from academia, local, state and federal government, or are subject matter experts in allied fields.
The breakout sessions will begin by looking at the impact of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, and how efforts regarding the Initiatives need to continue or be refocused. In addition each group will be assigned hot topics drawn from current trends and direction in the fire service. At the end of many hours in these sessions, each group will report out up to ten recommendations. Each recommendation will be tactically prioritized, and subject matter partners will be sought.
Since 2004, one generation of fire service leadership has retired and another wave is preparing to move on. Now is the time to identify our rising stars. Following a rigorous application process, forty-six scholarships have been offered and accepted by future fire service leaders to attend TAMPA2. In the tradition of the fire station shift “pass down,” we must consider what this new group needs to know to successfully continue the mission of firefighter safety. We are so proud of the scholarship recipients whom we are bringing to Tampa free of charge-their transportation, lodging and associated costs have all been donated by our general event sponsors.